Tokyo’s June Office Vacancy Rate Declines for Third Month After Earthquake

Tokyo’s Office vacancy rates fell for a third month in June, recovering from a record high in March when the nation was hit by a record earthquake, according Miki Shoji Co.

The measure of unoccupied office units in Tokyo fell to 8.81 percent in June from 8.88 percent a month earlier, according to the Tokyo-based privately held office brokerage company. The average office rent in Tokyo’s five main business districts of Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato, Shinjuku and Shibuya fell to a record low, it said.

The vacancy rate in Tokyo, which had been on rising trend since 2008, is starting to recover after it reached a record high of 9.19 percent in March when Japan was hit by a magnitude- 9 earthquake. The office vacancy rate may peak around April 2012 when Japan’s economic growth is expected to gather pace, according to Credit Suisse Securities (Japan) Ltd.

“Vacancy rates could decline in the period through October 2011, when few new buildings are scheduled for completion,” said Masahiro Mochizuki, an analyst at Credit Suisse, in a report yesterday. “We expect the vacancy rate to improve gradually in 2012.”

The average office rent in Tokyo’s five main business districts fell to 17,292 yen ($214) per tsubo from 17,400 yen per tsubo in May, Miki Shoji said. One tsubo, a standard measure of property area in Japan, is 3.3 square meters, or 35.5 square feet.

The Topix Real Estate Index (TPREAL) dropped 1 percent at the 3 p.m. close in Tokyo, making it the second-worst performer among the 33 industry groups that make up the benchmark Topix index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kathleen Chu in Tokyo at kchu2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Linus Chua in Singapore at lchua@bloomberg.net

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